Skip to main content

tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  April 7, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

11:00 pm
mohamm mohammad al modadi. pete williams joins us again. help us with the latest. >> you have done a good job running down the facts. it may turn out his only violation was smoking on the plane. while the initial reports were he came out and when the air marshal said what were you doing he said i was trying to set off a shoe bomb. he was trying to say i was trying to put a cigarette out on the sole of my shoe. if that is the case, the only violation he may have committed is violating the federal rule of smoking on a plane. to re-emphasize here, though, no explosives were found in his shoes. authorities say no explosives were found on the man in any other way and no explosives were found on the plane.
11:01 pm
bomb sniffing dogs did go through the plane and found no explosives. i'm sure they'll take another look. this whole situation is certainly easy to understand why the authorities initially responded the way he did. there was a man doing something suspicious in the bathroom. they smelled smoke. they can't get a clear answer what he was doing and, of course, this day and age, they take no chances with these things. the authorities on the the ground were notified. law enforcement rushed to the scene. fighter escorts came in for the last part of the flight, unusual but not unprecedented. we are seeing a lot more of this. it happens several times a month and has been since the christmas day bombing attempt when these reports come up. the man is being questioned now, but it is sure as the minutes go by here, rachel, looks like he may have done nothing worse than smoking on the plane. >> pete williams, thank you for
11:02 pm
your continued reporting on this. >> we are joined on the phone by bob ober, a former pilot. thank you for your time. >> of course. >> in terms of the pilot's responsibility and actions, if notified by an air marshal there is an emergency onboard what does the pilot do? >> the first thing he had to do is evaluate where he is in the air and what his dynamic situation around him is. is there any threat? with the information where an air marshal says we have smoke or we have a problem, you have to assume that you have a genuine problem and act accordedly and get the airline on the ground. the result of 9/11 koing us billions of dollars in security procedures at airports, is causing delays and diversions
11:03 pm
such as this because the pilot has to take ultra conservative approach because heaven forbid it could be a genuine problem. you have to act accordingly. based on the information the pilot had in this case he thought he had a problem. >> it is the pilot's call ultimately as to what to do to secure the aircraft and the safety of the passengers? >> it is always the captain's decision as to what to do. >> captain bob ober, appreciate your joining us, thank you for your time. >> it is always a pleasure. >> stay tuned to msnbc for the latest on this story. there is not any confirmation of any bomb or explosive onboard this flight despite early reports to that effect. pete williams reporting bomb sniffing dogs have cleared this plane. back in a moment with the big political news of the day.
11:04 pm
if you're shopping for a new car, we invite you to put us to the test. and may the best car win. [ wind howling ] [ male announcer ] when you have sensitive skin... ♪ ...a lot of things can really irritate your face... shaving shouldn't be one of them. gillette fusion power has five blades with an anti-friction coating that shave with incredible comfort, so your skin looks and feels great, until the next game. fusion. proven performance even on sensitive skin. ♪ it's another thing to back it up. the chevy 5-year/100,000 mile transferable powertrain warranty. with roadside assistance and courtesy transportation, it's the best coverage in america.
11:05 pm
11:06 pm
we begin with threats made against nancy pelosi. law enforcement officials telling nbc news tonight that the fbi has arrested a northern california man, a san francisco man, for making multiple, threatening phone calls to speaker pelosi and to her husband. federal officials say the man made dozens of phone calls to her home in california, to her home in washington, d.c., and to her husband's business office approximate the charges remain under seal, but a federal official tells pete williams that the man will be charged with violating a federal law against making calls that annoy, abuse, threaten or harass. it's a charge that carries a maximum two-year prison sentence. according to this official who spoke with nbc, the calls were so numerrous, the decision was made that something had to be done. the associated press also quoting unnamed federal officials tonight as saying that in the threatening calls, the
11:07 pm
man recited speaker pelosi's home address and said that if she ever wanted to see her home again, she would stop health reform. this arrest of course comes within 24 hours of yesterday's fbi arrest of a washington state man who was accused of making threats against democratic senator patti murray. both of these stories are still developing tonight. we'll let you know about any further details as we get them. now, the other big story in politics today happened in the middle of the country in minnesota. on the myth of the moderate republican, the modern moderate republican, finally came to an end. >> freedom-loving minnesotans, please welcome congresswoman michele bachmann and governor sarah palin. ♪ this one's for the girls >> today, alongside sarah palin and michele bachmann in minnesota, stood minnesota
11:08 pm
governor and 2012 presidential hopeful tim pawlenty. there he is. oh, yeah. yes. yeah. same event. that's him. introducing sarah palin and michele bachmann today. mr. pawlenty not only appearing with ms. bachmann and palin today, but blast e-mailing his supporters in advance of today's event, telling them they need to stand with michele bachmann to help send her back to washington. here's the deal. tim pawlenty still gets described as a voice of reason in the republican party. a voice of moderation and a party that is increasingly leaning toward the very, very far right. you can either be a moderate, you can represent the center, be the reasonable alternative to the far right, or you can hitch your wagon to michele bachmann. you can't be both. trust me. >> thomas jefferson said, a revolution every now and then is a good thing. we are at the point, sean, of revolution.
11:09 pm
and really now in washington, i'm a foreign correspondent on enemy lines. i want people in minnesota armed and dangerous. >> that is who tim pawlenty is urging his supporters to get behind. if tim pawlenty is the voice of moderation in the republican party, it's possible the beltway media needs to find a new guy in the republican party to call the voice of moderation. and they have, actually. >> republican bob mcdonnell has focused not on the president, but on taxes and jobs in a campaign targeted squarely at moderates. >> private sector solutions and preenterprise and limited government. >> mr. mcdonnell has done his best to rebrand himself as a moderate willing to work with democrats. he ran as a moderate. he ran as a moderate conservative. all quotes from the coverage of bob mcdonnell's campaign for the governorship in virginia, and the way he has governed since he has been there. virginia governor bob mcdonnell,
11:10 pm
after tim pawlenty, now being christened the new voice of the when "the richmond times-dispatch" endorsed him last year they noted his, quote, moderate temperment. mr. mcdonnell was hand-picked by the republican party to give the republican response to president obama's state of the union address earlier this year, after he had been in office precisely 11 days. mr. mcdonnell was praised as the moderate seeming new face of the republican party. move over, tim pawlenty, there is a new republican moderate seeming guy in town. a new republican moderate seeming guy that declared the month of april will be confederate history month in the commonwealth of virginia. governor mcdonnell releasing a proclamation to that effect saying, quote, april is the month in which the people of virginia joined the confederate states of america in a four-year war between the states for independence. oh, that's what we're calling it
11:11 pm
now, a four-year war between the states for independence. sounds awesome. is that all it was for? proclamation goes on, whereas virginia has long recognized her confederate history, the numerous civil war battlefields that mark regions of the state, those who fought for their homes and communities and commonwealth in a time very different than ours today, and whereas, it is important for all virginians to reflect upon our commonwealth-shared history, to understand the sacrifices of the confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the civil war. do you notice anything missing here in all the whereas', in this call to remember confederate soldiers fighting for their homes and communities? in the war of independence? did you notice the lack of mention of something else the confederacy might have been fighting for? the last time a republican
11:12 pm
governor in virginia tried to celebrate a confederate history month in virginia, he at least had the decency to mention slavery. gilmore included this, quote, our recognition of confederate history also recognizes that slavery was one of the causes of the war, slavery is abhorred and condemned by virginians and was ended by this war. right. this time around, governor mcdonnell cut that part out. made no mention of slavery at all. criticized for that, the new moderate seeming face of the republican party said that he did not think slavery was an important enough issue to include in a proclamation on the confederacy. he told "the washington post," quote, there were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states, obviously it involved slavery. it involved other issues. but i focused on the ones i thought were most significant for virginia.
11:13 pm
see, slavery just wasn't significant enough to mention. the civil war? any number of things going on there. slavery? whatever. a spokesman for governor mcdonnell later had to clarify that comment, telling the website talking points memo today, quote, the governor knows that slavery is a significant part of virginia's history. turns out that clarification was not quite good enough, because even later today, governor mcdonnell finally caved on the whole, the civil war was about any number of things, slavery, shmavery. let's commemorate the confederacy. governor mcdonnell forced to reverse himself and issue an apology. he put out a statement saying proclamation issued by this office designating april as confederate history month contained a major omission. the failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake and for that i apologize. to any fellow virginian who has been offended or disappointed. along with this apologize
11:14 pm
apology came an update to the official confederate history month proclamation. it reads -- whereas, it is important for all virginians to understand that the institution of slavery was evil and inhumane practice that prevented people from their inalienable rights and all virginians are thankful for its permanent ee ratification of our borders. he was supposed to be the new face of republican moderation. he says his celebrate the confederacy proclamation was in the first instance a way of encouraging tourism to the commonwealth of virginia. well, between the celebrate the confederacy, slavery shmavery proclamation and the fact that his attorney general is scheduled to be speaking at an event at the state capitol monday to promote the open carrying of loaded firearms, i'm sure tourists everywhere feel very, very welcome in virginia these days. joining us, melissa
11:15 pm
harris-lacewell, a professor in african-american studies at princeton university. >> more important, the child of virginia. i went to public school from kindergarten through high school in the state of virginia, so i know quite a bit about this war of northern aggression that the governor is speaking about. >> as an african-american studies professor and as a virginia native, before we talk about governor mcdonnell, what do you think about the idea of there being confederate history month in virginia? >> well, you know, certainly it's not as governor mcdonnell initiated this, but he did revive it. so, you know, i know enough about virginia history to know that there really are two different ways that virginia has thought about its southern past. and one is kind of the thomas jefferson notion of virginia history. and obviously the thomas jefferson notion of virginia
11:16 pm
history includes slavery. there'd be no way to talk about jefferson without talking about slavery. but it is a tradition that is focused primarily on how virginia contributed to the founding of the nation. how someone who was himself a slaveholder wrote a document that wasn't a slave document but a free document, right? the declaration of independence, saying we have inalienable rights and helped to create the union. but then there's this other way that virginia history is sometimes presented in the schools and on monument avenue in richmond and on jefferson davis highway where i grew up, and that is a history that says what virginia is primarily is the site of massive resistance against the union, that it is the site where sort of brave soldiers came together to fight against this very thing that jefferson had sacrificed to create. so in both cases, there's slavery. but the real question is how it comports itself to the national
11:17 pm
story. is virginia a place that birthed the nation or is part of a birth of a nation? >> and what about the issue of tourism being linked to the confederacy? this idea that americans would want to not just revisit historic sites of the civil war, but would specifically want to come to virginia to sort of commemorate and learn more about the confederacy itself? to me, it's interesting and it's important that republican governors keep endorsing that idea, and democratic governors keep not endorsing that idea in virginia. are there, either partisan or left and right differences of opinion and perception about having a romantic view of the confederacy? >> oh, absolutely. this particular romantic, and i want to say even imagined notion of the confederacy. i say imagined because part of what the confederate story is is this idea that somehow poor, white southerners really benefited from the relationship of slavery.
11:18 pm
when in fact we know that the vast majority of white laborers did not benefit from slavery. they found that their labor was degraded by slavery. but instead what happens with this sort of romantic notion of the great south is that it gets sold as a commodity so that i can see, for example, rebel flags, confederate flags, in rural pennsylvania and in southern california and in downstate illinois. these are not places that were part of the confederacy, but they are consumed by americans across the country who want to have a sort of vision of white supremacy, a vision of this kind of romantic moment in american history where black people knew their place and women knew their place and laborers knew their place. and so this is clearly to me about attaching to one he perceives as a national anxiety about the ways in which women, and people of color and immigrants are changing and rewriting the american story,
11:19 pm
and saying you know what? virginia will be a nice, safe place for those of you who want to row manhattan size a past where this size of power struggle did not exist. but of course it's not true. it's simply a romantic notion of the confederacy. it's not the reality of the ways in which the confederacy degraded whites and blacks together. >> it certainly puts a romantic asterisk on it to forget that slavery was the reason the south was fighting. i sort of think this defines bob mcdonnell from here on out until he gives us a reason to believe anything else important about him. >> i would agree. and, again, having gone to school in virginia, it's not an uncommon thing to pretend that the war between the states or the war of northern aggression was somehow not a war about slavery. it's a common narrative that emerges in textbooks and in schools. you know, and again, i think it also highlights sort of what
11:20 pm
happened in texas recently around the changing of the curriculum. it is critically important that as we tell our history as americans that we not only get our facts straight, but also, you know, employ kind of critical reasoning skills to think on our past. because that past is with us even right now. melissa harris-lacewell, princeton professor, msnbc contributor and one of the smartest people i've talked to about anything, anytime, anywhere. thanks so much. great to see you. >> thank you. here's what one worker at the massey energy coal mine in west virginia said after an explosion at that mine killed 25 people and left four more missing this week. the person said, no one will say this who works at that mine, but everyone knows it has been dangerous for years. jeff goodal, author of "big coal" joins us next on what's going on in the rescue effort in west virginia. and later, senator coburn
11:21 pm
of oklahoma gets really uncomfortably personal with me. coming up. with something delicious. ♪ triscuit. weave some goodness. so, at national, i go right past the counter... and you get to choose any car in the aisle. choose any car? you cannot be serious! okay. seriously, you choose. go national. go like a pro.
11:22 pm
we have some breaking news tonight from afghanistan. for the third time the taliban has released video that taliban spokespeople say is of a u.s. soldier who was captured in afghanistan last june. you'll recall this soldier's name, army private beau bergdahl, originally from idaho. the taliban has claimed they have had him in its custody.
11:23 pm
today the mujahadin released this video. they claim it shows private bergdahl with a beard doing pushups, presumably to show he is still fit and healthy. two weeks after private bergdahl disappeared, the taliban released their first video of him, showing him with a shaved head, sitting on a rug with food in front of him. he said in that tape he was scared he wouldn't be able to go home. then in december, the taliban released a second video also reportedly showing him, this one showed him in full army uniform. in the third video, private bergdahl begs to go home. he asks for the return of all u.s. troops and for an end to the war. you see that footage, also looking quite different with a full, grown out beard. of course we're going on what the taliban says this is, and what it appears to be. it's not yet confirmed. we will be right back. powered by the wind on the plains. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life.
11:24 pm
and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, more than sixty thousand people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers. you stood in the basement gathering dust while i, sneezing, itching eyes kept you from our favorite stream. the one that runs through a field where pollen floats through the air.
11:25 pm
but now, with the strength of 24-hour zyrtec® to relieve my worst allergy symptoms, indoors and outdoors... let's go before the fish stop biting. they won't wait for us. but that's okay. zyrtec® is the fastest 24-hour allergy medicine. today, we battle wits with the trout. with zyrtec® i can love the air®. ♪ black one! where? [ vrrroooooomm! ] black one! where? [ vrrroooooomm! ] black one! ow! where? [ male announcer ] the volkswagen tiguan. the only compact suv with a turbocharged engine, standard. [ vrrroooooomm! ] black one! where? there. [ male announcer ] starting at $23,200. it's a whole new volkswagen, and a whole new game.
11:26 pm
11:27 pm
if you want to dig coal out of the ground, you're going to have to deal with methane gas. it's almost a fact of nature. it's frequently true. methane occurs naturally in the ground around coal seams. if there's a certain amount of methane gas in the air, between 5% and 15%, it's very, very explosive. so if you're mining coal, it's really, really, really important that you take measures to get methane gas away from what you're doing. to keep the levels of methane gas inside the mine at very, very low levels. because otherwise, naturally, methane builds up, explosions can happen very easily, and people can very easily be killed.
11:28 pm
in montcoal, west virginia, this week, 25 miners died. another four are still unaccounted for after an explosion at the upper big branch mine. the cause of that explosion is still being investigated but the prime suspect is a buildup of methane gas. rescuers were ordered out of the mine early yesterday morning, even though there are still four people missing, because, they said, of dangerously high methane levels. they have begun drilling holes in the mine to vent out the gas, but state and federal officials said this afternoon that gas levels, including carbon monoxide and hydrogen as well as methane gas, were still too high to let rescuers back into the mine to resume the search for those four miners who are still missing. just minutes ago, officials gave another update on the rescue effort, saying there's still a possibility that rescuers could get back into the mine as early as tonight. it hasn't yet happened. the hope is that these four miners who are missing were able to make their way to a rescue chamber in the aftermath of this explosion monday.
11:29 pm
a top federal mine safety official on scene in west virginia today said hope is minuscule. west virginia governor joe manchin is promising a full investigation into the explosion. staffers of the house committee have been dispatched as part of an investigation, and the department of labor has just announced its own investigation. already the upper big branch mine where the explosion took place, and massey energy, the company that owns it, are under intense scrutiny for their safety record or lack thereof. we learned yesterday that the mine had been cited for 53 violations last month alone. we know now that the mine was even cited twice on the day of the explosion. programs the most instructive thing we are learning about all these safety violations at the upper big branch mine is not how many safety violations they were, but what they were about. among the mine's violations was one in january for ventilation systems that are supposed to prevent the system of methane gas and coal dust that can cause
11:30 pm
explosions. according to the associated press earlier this year, federal inspectors found the air flow had been reversed on a fresh air system that was meant to bring clean air to miners in an emergency. the ap reports the mine foreman told investigators he'd known about the problem for weeks without addressing it. one federal mine safety official told bloomberg today, massey has a history of violating safety regulations especially of the sins of ventilation methane and coal dust that can cause this kind of tragedy. and two miners who spoke on the condition of anonymity said miners had been evacuated three times from the upper big branch mine because of dangerously high methane levels. a 22-year-old electrician who worked in the mine as a subcontractor went on record saying, quote, no one will say this who works at that mine, but everyone knows it has been dangerous for years. specifically, according to that subcontractor, workers had regularly been told to work 12 hour shifts when eight hours is the industry standard.
11:31 pm
he said live wires were left exposed and accumulation of coal dust and methane was routinely ignored. this from reuters, jimmy platte, 54 years old, worked for massey said the explosion at upper big branch mine on monday was an accident waiting to happen. he said he and other miners were sometimes required to put in 18 to 20-hour days. he says they were told to work what he says was unmineable coal, which opened wide cracks in the mine ceiling, making a roof collapse more likely. mr. platte said the main difference between working for nonunionized massey and working for other mine companies that have union representation was, in his words, the right to say no. again, methane gas happens in coal mines. there are multiple causes of explosions and other things that can be dangerous in coal mining. methane gas is one of those things that's just there. it's highly explosive and there for the very important job of coal mining companies, to keep it from building up and exploding and killing their
11:32 pm
workers. for safety violation upon safety violation upon safety violation, federal inspectors have proposed more than $1 million in fines this year alone for this one mine where this blast happened on monday. so far, the company that profits from the mine, massey energy, has paid only 16% of those fines. as of now, the price paid by the people who actually do the mining is 25 lives. and four more for which we wait and hope. joining us now, jeff goodal, rolling stone contributing editor and author of "big coal, the dirty secret behind america's energy future." thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> on this reuters story, there are now people who are former workers for massey, some family members of people who have worked for massey who are willing to put their names to their quotes and talk about the company being dangerous. is this new? >> it is new, because for a while, for a long time there's been a code of silence around massey energy, because they're
11:33 pm
such a big coal operator in that region, in appalachia, if you bad mouth massey, tell the truth about what's going on in the mines then you don't have a job. but i think what's happening, we're having a building, obvious anger about what's gone on here. massey plead guilty to ten criminal counts, charges in the air coma mine in 2006 where two miners were killed. there was a lot of anger about that. they were found to have falsified the mine logs in that mine. there's a lot of anger around massey's mountain top removal mining, flattening large areas of appalachia, a lot of water -- clean water act violations there. so i think what's happening, people are finally standing up in west virginia and saying this has to stop. we have to change the way we mine coal. >> when we think about trying as a country to make sure that people have a right to work without it costing them their
11:34 pm
lives, and we think about trying to make -- create the expectation that companies will follow the law and not try to either buy their way or bully their way around it, you look at what happened with the arakoma mine fire. that was in west virginia in 2006. as you say, massey didn't just pay multi million dollar fines there, they were found guilty in a criminal case on that. >> right. >> and yet we are still seeing safety violations related to ventilation, related to some of the same things that killed those miners in west virginia in 2006. if fines don't work, increased regulations don't work, what works? >> it's a good question. this is a political problem. this is about the fact that don blankenship basically is the biggest political power in west virginia. nobody wants to stand up to him. he goes after politicians who do anything that he doesn't like. he spent $3.5 million a few
11:35 pm
years ago in attack ads against a state supreme court justice who had made a decision in a case that he didn't like. the word on the street in west virginia is you don't mess with don. and there's just -- it's just a really simple kind of intimidation that goes on. and in these mines, you know -- you know, it's not as all above board as we would like to think. these inspections happen down in the dark and i know from talking to some of these mine inspectors, there's a lot of corruption in this, there's a lot of back slapping and turning it, looking the other way. especially in the case of massey. the obvious question is why wasn't this mine shut down? >> when we look at the disasters that have been happening so frequently in china, in the chinese coal mines. look at that and think, those chinese coal mine operators, they sure are shady. or those chinese coal miners, they don't know what they are
11:36 pm
doing in terms of safety. we from this comfortable distance look and say, china's got a problem. china's got a problem, they're growing so fast they don't care about the lives of their people. we look at that problem and decide that's a government problem, a problem about government priorities. i feel that way about the mining industry in this country too and i'm not at a comfortable distance from it. what is the best hope for things actually getting better? >> i think that part of what we're seeing is the bush administration spent eight years kind of gutting the mine safety administration, so that became kind of a ineffective agency. there's good signs the obama administration has put in a tough administrator in the mine safety administration. i think we're really talking about political reform. but not just in the mine safety level, but within west virginia. and that's a really complicated problem. because this is a state -- don blankenship makes the argument that the economy of west virginia is dependent upon continuing to mine and burn coal.
11:37 pm
he sees mining coal as a commodity game. it's just get the stuff out of the ground as cheaply and quickly as possible. that has to change. we need to think about coal in a different way. >> factor in the lives and safety of the people doing this work in figuring out the cost of it. jeff god dell, rolling stone contributor, author of "dirty coal." thanks for joining us. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. oklahoma's republican senator tom coburn is not only proud to have blocked the extension of unemployment benefits this week, he is raring to go on a spree when congress reconvenes because he says he's so responsible. there is so much more to this story, including him dragging me into it. stick around. especially when it comes to charmin ultra soft. it's so soft and absorbent, you can use 7 sheets versus 28. charmin ultra soft. enjoy the go. thank you, pothole tarmac.
11:38 pm
thank you, saltwater spray-tunnel and shaker machine. thank you to all the 5,000 tests that helped make the nissan altima better for everyone who drives it. the nissan altima. made to make your life better. and highest ranked in initial quality by j.d. power and associates. now lease a new altima for $199 a month for 39 months. ♪ having the right real estate agent on your side is more important than ever. at, you can find the experts you need, whether you're trying to sell of hoping to buy. nobody sells more real estate than re/max. visit today. i buy plants, i bring them home, and then...i water too little... too much... or i just forget. but look. this is doing fine. why? it's planted in miracle-gro moisture control potting mix. it holds 33% more water... than ordinary potting soil, releasing it as plants need it, not when i get around to it. and there's miracle-gro plant food mixed in.
11:39 pm
so you get miracle-gro results... i like that. [ female announcer ] new and improved miracle-gro moisture control potting mix. success starts with the soil. winning at losing on weight watchers. i have never been this size in my adult life. so it's a special place for me. i'm so comfortable in my jeans. i love the progress. looking back and saying, "wow, look at the difference." and it makes me love myself that much more. i win. and you can, too. ♪ win, win, i win ♪ i win and you can join for free. weight watchers. because it works.
11:40 pm
president obama right now is this time last year the pea party movement was just gearing up. fox news channel tax day tea parties.
11:41 pm
they're called fox news channel tax day tea parties because all the big fox news channel personalties appeared at tax party -- tax day tea party events. they were fox news endorsed, an events. they ran fox news channel staff production time and ad time on their air to promote the events. they ran tea party promotions. >> all across the country, americans are making their voices heard. in california, texas, georgia, washington, d.c. citizens are standing up, saying no to more taxes, and demanding real economic solutions. >> apparently someone forgot to run all that by the boss. here is international media mogul founder and chairman of news corps and thereby the guy who owns fox news, rupert murdoch at an interview with martin kalb.
11:42 pm
>> is it appropriate for a news network to be engaged in that much politics? >> no. i don't think we should be supporting the tea party or any other party. but i'd like to investigate what you're saying before i condemn anyone. >> i don't think we should be supporting the tea party. >> i thought you were going to tell the boss, i totally remember you were going to tell the boss. you were going to tell the boss. i wonder what happened at fox news today after the boss investigated whether they really did this thing that he couldn't believe they would do. joining us now is sam stein of huffington post who was at the press club for the murdoch interview. nice to see you. >> thank you for having me. >> here's my first question, and i don't want it to be construed as rude but it's really what i'm wondering. is it possible rupert murdoch does not know what the tea party movement is? is it possible he thinks it's like a declared political party,
11:43 pm
like democrat or republican? >> i find that a little bit hard to believe. he showed obviously a good handle of current events, political affairs also at that press club, so someone who consumes that much news would -- one would think would have an understanding at the very least of what the tea party movement is. but by sort of acknowledging implicitly that he doesn't understand that his news channel has covered it with such boosterism, it does suggest a little bit of detachment and makes you wonder whether that's deliberate or not, whether he's too hands off with fox news. giving too much rein to roger ales. >> because he has chosen throughout his career to be so closely associated with all his news properties, brand them with his own political views but be the public and political face of those networks, is this possible it means there is a divide between murdoch and fox, or is it also possible that this is just plausible deniability, that he doesn't want to be tarred with what fox news is doing? >> couple points here. one, obviously the element of
11:44 pm
plausible deniability. fox's motto is fair and balanced. to admit you've sort of boosted the tea parties would remove that veneer. secondly, keep in mind murdoch is a recent owner of "the wall street journal", and by all accounts he's been trying to make that an on-level competitor to "the new york times." so perhaps his attention is divided elsewhere. this is a man very much devoted to ratings. love it or not, fox news gets a lot of good ratings. maybe he's simply entrusted the enterprise to roger ales under the premise as long as he can draw viewers, what's the harm? >> i admit to not having any idea to know how they run their business internally, but now that rupert murdoch says it would be a bad idea to promote these tea parties, do you think they'll have to stop? >> i'm not holding my breath. fox news, listen. when fox news was conceived it was done very cleverly. there was a niche to do sort of a republican viewpoint on the cable news networks. republicans right now aren't
11:45 pm
that popular, even among conservatives. what's in vogue is tea partyism or conservativeism. you have to attach yourself to the tea party whether it's deliberate or nonobjective reporting, it makes business sense. i think above all else, that's what motivate murdoch. >> sam stein, thanks so much for being here. >> thanks, rachel. coming up on "countdown," keith asks a serious question about how a president is legally able to authorize the killing of an american citizen without due process. very important story. next on this show, senator tom coburn of oklahoma's strange new observations about me out of the blue. please stay with us. is here -- ellen page. hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! we're going on a field trip to china! wow. [ chuckles ] when i was a kid, we -- we would just go to the -- the farm. [ cow moos ]
11:46 pm
[ laughter ] no, seriously, where are you guys going? ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! [ female announcer ] the new classroom. see it. live it. share it. on the human network. cisco. let me show you. there's a new 24-hour heartburn formula that's different. it's called zegerid otc. only zegerid otc has both prescription strength-medicine and a special ingredient to allow its powerful
11:47 pm
medicine to be quickly absorbed. zegerid otc controls and suppresses acid all day and all night. there's a brilliant new idea in heartburn relief. new zegerid otc. discover the difference. one spot light-seeking
11:48 pm
senator squeezes the unemployed. a spotlight seeking democrat switches to the republicans because of the whole naked lady nightclub thing. turns out it has an upside for republicans. those stories coming up. our signature lobster lover's dream... and eleven more choices. ending soon at red lobster. because with national, i roll past the counter... and choose any car in the aisle. choosing your own car? now that's a good call. go national. go like a pro.
11:49 pm
doubling down is when you make a bet in the hand of black jack and in the middle double your bet. coburn infinity down on his
11:50 pm
choice to cut off unemployment benefits to hundreds of thousands of out of work americans. first senator coburn said this whose money just dried up thanks to him. quote, the easiest thing in the world is to pass the bill unpaid for. but considering the millions of americans whose financial futures would be damaged versus the relatively small amount of people who will be displaced. making a small deal and making yourself a huge courageous deal in the process. the senator told the hill newspaper that he would object to every other spending measure that he says isn't paid for with other spending cuts or tax increases. that's the part he infinitied down. he will block everything. now as i was assembling facts to put it in context, the voting record, the residence at c-street and the hush money between ensign and ensign's
11:51 pm
mistress and all that, senator coburn said this to the daily color website. he said, quote, look at rachael maddow. she comes at me on the basis of emotion. she deem newses me. i don't want conservatives to win on the basis of emotion. if we lower ourselves to the level they argue on, we hurt ourselves and arguments. i was doing my work. that sets off the google alert. then i become morose and hyperactively giddy-yap and happy and sad and happy again that i couldn't make sense. i was reading through the tears of joy, anger, and anxiety i couldn't control. i promise -- i'm getting emotional about this promise, i promise tomorrow i will gather myself in a full analysis of the tom coburn news. if i can't hold it together, there's plenty of facts to present and i will do it
11:52 pm
tomorrow night. right here. if you excuse me, i need a minute. we'll be right back. okay? okay. sorry. somewhere in america... there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, more than sixty thousand people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers.
11:53 pm
but my doctor told me that most calcium supplements... aren't absorbed properly unless taken with food. he recommended citracal. it's different -- it's calcium citrate, so it can be absorbed with or without food. citracal.
11:54 pm
it's like hardwiring the market right into my desktop. launch my watchlist -- a popping stock catches my eye. pull up the price chart. see what the analysts say. as i jump back, cnbc confirms what i thought. pull the trigger -- done. i can even do most of this on my smartphone. really, it's incredible. like nothing i've ever experienced. trade free for 60 days on redesigned power e-trade pro. like nothing i've ever experienced. this is what it's like getting an amazing discount on a hotel with travelocity's new top secret hotels. ahh. and this is what it's like when you have to bid on a hotel. aaaaaaaah! travelocity's top secret hotels... bidding. yaaah! naughty fish! introducing travelocity's top secret hotels. the new, easy way to get unpublished discounts of up to 45% off 3 and 4 star hotels without the hassle of bidding. ahhh. which makes travelocity the best place for hotel deals.
11:55 pm
after the republican national committee's financial filings last week, they spent $200 of money at a bondage nightclub, the donors started bailing. now the scandal seems to have earned the republicans a convert. she's switching from the democratic party to the republican party because of the voyeur nightclub scandal. she said, quote, i could not hell but recognize over time my
11:56 pm
libertarian values regarding money and sex and the legal use of one for the other is best espoused by the republican party. here now to explain, my own kent jones. hi, kent. for the republican party move forward, they have to let new people to the tent. >> truly. >> i wonder if tent is ready for this. republicans, welcome to your party potential senate candidate stephanie clifford better known as stormy daniels star of "the witches of breastwick" and "the golden g string award" and she's rubbing against david vitter who called daniels' primary run a republican side show and shameless antics. stormy's response -- we are disappointed that senator vitter has shamelessly allowed the washington and baton rouge republican elite to violate ronald reagan's 11th commandment
11:57 pm
and attack a fellow republican who is not as of now even a declared candidate in this race. don't laugh, she could be the worst nightmare, a camera-ready tea partier. fellow tea partiers and true conservatives will reject the elite's attempt to ram down our throats closet liberals like david vitter and a true conservative who is committed to fiscal responsibility and, yes, respecting women. the floor yields to the gentlelady of louisiana. >> the vitter camp is trying to blame this on democrats saying she's a stunt. the louisiana republicans today said if they're comfortable with a challenger that has a history of selling sex, i would suggest they stand by with a history of paying for it. done.
11:58 pm
>> "hardball" is next. good night. breaking news -- at this hour, federal authorities are investigating an incident aboard united airlines flight 663 from washington, d.c. to denver. air martials are forced to detain a passenger after a flight attendant smelled smoke. a pair of f-16s were a problem. he looked like he was trying to put out a shoe bomb. now he's saying he's putting out a cigarette he smoke in the bathroom on the sole of his shoe. he's a qatar diplomat. he's being questioned by the fbi. stay tuned to msnbc for more information as it develops. for now, we'll start "hardball."
11:59 pm
>> confederacy of dunces. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, the real republican leadership. mark your calendar today, april 7th, 2010. the new republican party showed its head today. move over mitch mcconnell, you rascal. move over mr. chip and pudgje john boehner. the crowds in your party are now on the heads of sarah palin, michele bachmann, glenn beck, rush limbaugh and sean hannity. today on daytime television we saw the wing team dream team of palin, bachmann and hannity. they have the star power, not the backroom schmooze of capitol hill. plus jeff davis republicans. cries of secession and nullification got men killed in the 1860s. cries of states rights got us fellows like jim crowe and